Ho Chi Minh
- Category : Politics-Heads-of-state
- Type : PE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (22,36)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 2
North Vietnam founder and first president, a communist and nationalist. An emaciated thin man sporting a goatee, Ho Chi Minh built a guerrilla army that over a 21-year period crushed France's attempt to keep its empire in Indochina and successfully fought the Americans in the 1960s and 70s during what is now called the Vietnam War (1954-1975).
The youngest of three children, Ho grew up in a village in central Vietnam, ruled by a French puppet government. His father, a functionary at the imperial court, sympathized with the impoverished peasants of Vietnam and left his official position to become an itinerant teacher. With his father as model, Ho participated in a series of tax revolts and earned a reputation as a troublemaker. In 1911, he sailed for Marseilles as a galley boy aboard a passenger liner so he could get first-hand experience of the French principles of liberté, égalité, fraternité. When he got to Paris, he worked as a photo retoucher and developed a taste for American cigarettes and Maurice Chevalier's charming songs.
When in 1919, Woodrow Wilson came to France to sign the treaty ending WWI, Ho tried to present Wilson with a list of French abuses in Vietnam, but he was rebuffed. Ho then joined the French Communist Party and soon after became a covert agent for Moscow. He traveled throughout Asia in the guise of a poor person, gathering intelligence. In 1929 he formed the Indochinese Communist Party.
When WWII brought Japanese armies into Indochina,Ho wanted nothing to do with them. He urged his disciples to fight both the Japanese and the French and he founded the Viet Minh, or the Vietnam Independence League. It was then he adopted the name of Ho Chi Minh ("Bringer of Light").
Ho died of heart disease on September 2, 1969, age 79, near Hanoi in North Vietnam. Six years later, the Americans pulled all troops out of Vietnam.. After the 1975 takeover of South Vietnam, communist leaders renamed Saigon as Ho Chi Minh City in his honor.